You’ve been on the job search for a while now, and you have just found a great company for which you want to work. Their culture aligns with your expectations. They are working on interesting products. You think you have the potential to add value to the business.
Then, when you look to see what jobs they are hiring for, you can’t find any that matches your needs. What should you do? That’s when writing a letter of interest can be helpful.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss what letters of interests are and how to write one that will help you land an interview with your dream employer.
What is a Letter of Interest?
A letter of interest is a document used to demonstrate your unique skills and how you can add value to an employer.
While this sounds just like a cover letter, there is one big difference: letters of interest are used to apply for jobs that don’t exist.
Suppose you have found your dream employer, but there are no open roles that match your expertise and career goals. While you could just move on to the next company, there is no need to give up just yet.
Many employers are not so interested in whether candidates match an exact job description. Rather, they want to hire strong candidates who add value to their business. If you can clearly demonstrate that you can add value, there is no reason the company would not be interested in talking to you.
If an employer is only hiring for specific roles—or don’t have the resources to hire any more people—then your letter of interest may not be effective. However, that doesn’t mean that writing a letter of interest is not a good idea. If you are passionate about a company, letters of interest are a good way to start a conversation with them.
How to Write a Letter of Interest
So, you’re convinced that writing a letter of interest will help you get your name in front of a hiring manager. The next step is to actually write the letter of interest. If you’ve never written one before, you may be wondering: what goes into a good letter of interest?
Let’s break down a few tips you can use to write your letter of interest.
Tip #1: Research the business
The first thing you want to do, even before starting to write the letter, is to research the company. Spend some time getting to know the business, its products and services, and its vision for the future.
Having a clear understanding of a business will help you write a more relevant letter of interest. This will help you express why you are interested in working for the company, even if they are not hiring at the moment.
In addition, knowing some basic facts about the business will help you come across as a proactive candidate who is willing to go the extra mile to impress an employer.
You may want to spend time reading about the company’s industry, its products and services, its recent press, and its goals. You can find this information on a company’s website, by talking with current employees, by reading the news, or by conducting a general search online.
Tip #2: Start by explaining why you’re interested
If you were writing a traditional cover letter, you would start by noting the position for which you are applying. If you are writing a letter of interest, there is no specific position you can mention, so instead you can talk about why you are interested in the business.
Hiring managers want to hear from people who have a sincere passion for working for their business. No company wants to hire someone who is just there for the money, and who knows nothing about the company.
In your introduction, you should briefly discuss what encouraged you to reach out. Do you like the company’s culture? Do you use their product? Do you read their online content? Whatever the reason, make it as specific as possible, and keep it short.
Being passionate about a business shows that you have done your research, and are motivated by their mission. These are two attributes that hiring managers often look for in candidates, and will be noted even though you are applying for a job that may not exist.
Tip #3: Give background on your skills
You’ve just flattered the hiring manager. What’s next? In the main body of your letter of interest, you should talk about the skills and qualifications you believe are relevant to the role you would like to have in the company.
Discuss a few of your main accomplishments and how you used your skills to achieve your goals. It can be helpful to mention statistics when discussing examples of your work. This is because statistics are usually easy to interpret and clearly demonstrate your impact on an organization.
Tip #4: Talk about how you can help them achieve their goals
Why are you reaching out to the company? The answer to this question should be because you feel you can help them achieve their goals. This is something you need to articulate well in your letter of interest.
Do you know how they can improve their marketing campaigns? Do you have skills that are relevant to the business?
In the main body of your letter of interest, you need to discuss how you can add value to the business. The clearer you are about how you can help a business achieve their goals, the more likely they are to be interested in you. If you do a good enough job, they may even consider reaching out about how they can create a position for you.
Tip #5: Be specific
If you’ve impressed the hiring manager, they will want to know what they need to do next. So, you should make sure to answer the question “What do you want the hiring manager to do with your letter?” somewhere in the text.
In your closing paragraph, make a clear request. Do you want the hiring manager to create a specific job? Or do you want to know if they are hiring for a role similar to the one you have described? Do you just want to hear more about the business? It doesn’t matter what you ask for as long as you are clear and specific.
Tip #6: Follow up
If you don’t hear back from a business, you may want to send a follow-up email. Something as simple as “I just wanted to follow up and see if you have read my letter,” will suffice. This will remind the business that you have sent a letter, and may prompt them to take the time to consider your proposal.
If you still haven’t heard back from the company after following up, you can always continue to track their job postings, and apply for any position that opens up in the future. This will help you position yourself as a passionate candidate that does not give up.
Example Letter of Interest
Writing a letter of interest can feel awkward. You are literally applying for a job that does not exist. You may be skeptical about whether a hiring manager will respond.
To help you write a letter of interest that captures the attention of a hiring manager, we have prepared an example letter that you can use for inspiration.
May 22, 2020
123 Main Street
Dear Julian Willard,
As a web developer, I have been following the work of the Beaver Web Company for a number of years, and I have been continually impressed by your work. The website you designed for the local Chamber of Commerce was particularly interesting, and I can tell that it uses a number of modern web technologies. I’d love to explore whether there is any way in which I can help your organization achieve its goals.
I am Susan Peters, a web developer with four years of experience developing websites using cutting-edge technologies. I have spent the last two years working as part of the InnovWeb Association, where I was able to refine my skills using React.js, Ruby on Rails, and acquaint myself with a wide range of web development best practices.
Prior to that role, I was a freelance web developer and worked on a number of sites for local businesses.
I noticed that you are not hiring for any web developer positions at the moment, but I feel like I could still be an asset to your business. I could use my knowledge of web development best practices to help you improve the speed and efficiency of the sites you have created for clients. I could also apply my experience with both front end and back end web development to help you refine your development processes.
I would appreciate an opportunity to learn more about your goals at the Beaver Web Company. I would also love to share more of my specific thoughts on how I can help you develop more efficient and modern websites to help you achieve your goal of becoming the best web development agency in the Scranton area.
Thank you for your time. Let me know if there’s any additional information that you need.
Writing a letter of interest is an effective way of demonstrating how you can add value to a business, even if there is currently no job listing that aligns with your goals and skills.
You may feel intimidated about sending a letter of interest to a company, especially if you are asking them to consider creating a job for you. However, good employers know to keep an eye out for the best talent and pursue the people who look promising.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t check all the boxes in a job posting; if you can show that you can be an asset to a business, they should be interested in talking with you. Remember the old adage: if you don’t ask, you don’t get.